Saturday, August 30, 2014

La Belle Province - Part One

How quickly time passes.  The last time I wrote, I was looking ahead to my trip to Quebec with the girlfriend, and now we're a week into it.  We spent the past week in Montreal, and tomorrow we catch a train to Quebec City for one more week of sightseeing, lounging around, and eating large quantities of salt and fat.  Mmmmm.  As it's almost time for sleep, I'm going to just post a few pictures from the past week to let people see some of the fun stuff we've been up to.

We've been staying in a beautiful, 19th century home that has been renovated into a Bed and Breakfast.

This is where breakfast is held every morning.  How lucky are we?

We've been eating a lot of poutine*.

We went to Notre Dame Basilica, because it's one of those things you kind of have to do while in Montreal.  And it's incredibly beautiful.

We visited the Redpath Museum of Natural History at McGill University, because my girlfriend is a saint. 

They had a signed letter from Charles Darwin.  I was so excited!  (I'm such a geek.)

We visited Montreal's "Gay District" (complete with a sky full of pink balls).

We ate the best ever Montreal smoked meat.

And yes, we waited in that line to get it.  And yes, it was totally worth it.

We biked along a very long river path until I found a cool old building to photograph.

Ooooh.  (Aren't you glad I'm only sharing two of the many photos that I took of this building?  You're welome.)

Did I mention poutine?  This one also came with Montreal smoked meat.  Can it get more awesome?

It's been a lovely week.  There is so much more to say (Isn't there always?), but it will have to wait for a time when I'm not tired and my feet aren't killing me from walking on cobblestone.

À bientôt.

*If you don't know what poutine is, you need to get your butt to Canada.  It is the most awesome of all awesome things.  Just be prepared for your butt to be much bigger when you leave.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Introvert Meltdown

The weeks since the girlfriend came home have been ridiculously busy.  First there was our local music festival, which was vastly more entertaining with the girlfriend than it used to be on my own.  Then there was a theatre festival, during which I attended 16 plays over 8 days.  And then the girlfriend's parents came home from working overseas, which has meant many nights of family dinners at their house.  As wonderful as it's been to have so many good things going on, it's been a bit more than my introverted self can handle, and I've found myself longing to spend an entire evening sitting on my couch in my pjs petting my cats.

Unfortunately, tonight was not that evening.  A group of residents was hosting a bridal shower for one of my friends, so I had to rush home from work, throw together a cheese platter, and go make nice with people.  The entire thing got off to a bad start when I realized that I'd forgotten to buy a gift, and then got worse when I arrived to find everyone decked out in pretty dresses, while I was wearing my least scruffy pair of jeans.  My mood wasn't helped by the fact that the conversation centred around such stimulating topics as 1) online clothes shopping; 2) wedding venues; and 3) popular drinking establishments.  I wanted to poke my eyes out.

But now I'm home, sitting on the couch next to two cats and my girlfriend, who is waiting patiently for me to finish typing so that we can watch the latest episode of MasterChef.  Could life be any better?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

And Then Everything Changed

A few weeks ago, the girlfriend (who seriously needs a new nickname) went to the States for a training course related to her overseas job.  I knew beforehand that her absence was going to be difficult for me, but I didn't anticipate bawling my eyes out the entire way home from dropping her off at the airport, or waking up each morning feeling like the most important thing in my life was missing.  It was awful.

About four days into her trip, I got a call from the girlfriend while I was out for dinner with my Mom.  "Skype me when you get home?" she asked.  And so I did.  And when we Skyped, we realized that we were both miserable apart and that the idea of three years on separate continents was just too much.

So she came home.  For good.

I had expected that her return would be nothing but bliss, so I was a bit surprised when I spent the first 24 hours in a total panic.  "OMG she gave up a great job opportunity to stay with me and what if we aren't happy together forever and then she's miserable because she doesn't have her amazing job or me and what if she can't find a satisfying job here and what if the religious difference is actually too big a difference or what if she wants kids but I don't or I want kids but she doesn't or something else comes up that breaks us up and she spends the rest of her life regretting staying here with me instead of taking the job."  My brain is a horrible place to live sometimes.

Thankfully, the girlfriend can handle my shit, and so we spent hours talking about the things that we'd never really talked about because our relationship was just temporary.  Religion.  Money.  Careers.  Children.  It was awesome.

She's awesome.

And now I'm vastly happier, knowing that this relationship doesn't have a mandatory expiry date.  We both acknowledge that it may not be a forever relationship - that we have differences that we may not be able to or even want to overcome - but we're also happy that we get the opportunity to decide where our relationship is going without a deadline.

As for the next place it's going?  La Belle Province!  And in a weird but wonderful coincidence, we're leaving on the same day as the girlfriend was originally going to leave for her overseas job.

Est pas belle la vie?

Friday, July 4, 2014

And There Went June...

I suspect that last month was the first time since I started regularly posting to this blog that I've missed an entire month of blogging.  (I will resist being anal and going through my archives to confirm this.)  My lack of writing here is partly due to having fallen out of the habit during my year of soul-crushing exam preparation, but more so to the sense that the girlfriend and I have of needing to make every moment together count.  With her move now less than two months away, it feels like we need to spend every spare minute creating memories to carry us through the three years of separation.

And create memories we have.  At the beginning of June, I had two weeks of holidays, the first of which I spent at home on a glorious staycation.  On days when the girlfriend worked, I spent my time sleeping in and reading and generally being lazy; on the few days when the girlfriend wasn't working, we wandered the streets and ate in favourite restaurants and watched way too much Food Network.  We also did a walking tour of a historical district, which was a great way of learning some of the history of our city.  I took the pictures, while the girlfriend jotted down interesting facts in her notebook.  (Apparently she's just as geeky as I am.  I love it!)

For the second week, we rented a cabin a few hours outside of the city with the intention of hiking and canoeing and being out in the wilderness.  And then we discovered that 1) our cabin got high-speed internet and 2) the second season of Orange is the New Black had just been released, and it turned into a very lazy week of eating and sleeping and binging on Netflix.  I couldn't have asked for anything better.

The only time we left the cabin for an extended period of time was when we went on a day a grain elevator museum.  (Three guesses whose choice that was*.  The first two don't count.)  The girlfriend is clearly infinitely patient, as she drove two hours each way to see....grain elevators.  She even allowed me to stop at two grain elevators on the way to the grain elevator museum.  I think that's the definition of true love.

So that's part one of June.  Part two will have to wait, as I just spent way too long Skyping with the girlfriend, who is away for work, and I need to sleep rather than keep writing here.  Perhaps there will be two posts in July - yay! 

*For some reason, Blogger has decided to turn the pictures in my previous post sideways.  I may fix that someday when I have more patience and energy than I currently have.  For now, my apologies.  They're really cool pictures that you just can't appreciate because Blogger is buggy.

Friday, May 30, 2014


The girlfriend has been away for work for the past five days, and I've been shocked by how much I've missed her.  Being a committed introvert, when someone I'm dating goes on a trip, I usually feel a bit of relief.  Rather than feeling lonely, I welcome the silence of my newly empty apartment and the extra room to stretch out while sleeping.

This time?  This is me:

Sad, crawling around on the floor, wondering how time can go by so slowly just because one person is a few hours away.  My friends have stopped asking me how I am, because the guttural sound that escapes my lips in response is just too pathetic to listen to.

And it's only been five days.

I can only imagine how unbearable I'm going to be when she moves away in August.  I've already warned my friends to buy lots of wine.

And maybe ear plugs.